Ben Hildred Completes Second Olympic Mons - 448km with 21900m of Vert in 3 Days

Mar 20, 2024 at 10:51
by Sarah Moore  
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Photos by Callum Wood


Ben Hildred's no stranger to big rides, completing a Double Everest in 2023, climbing a million feet in 200 days in 2021, Everesting at Skyline Bike Park, and completing his first "Olympic Mons" in 2020. You can read about those adventures here.

Olympus Mons is a Volcano on the planet Mars stands 21287.4m (69,841ft) above datum. Or it as in 2020 at least, Hildred said that it's now "grown somehow to 21900 meters." Either way, it is the tallest planetary mountain in the solar system, roughly two and a half times the height of Mount Everest, and it's the updated elevation that Ben Hildred chose to climb (and descend) in Queenstown earlier this month.

Unlike his last Olympic Mons adventure, Hildred did this in one go instead of over three days and the elapsed time for the event was 60h19.

bigquotesThat was a mission, three days of bike riding with friends, a brilliant weekend to remember. Hard to process it all currently, although looking forward to living it back in people's stories of tribulation and joy.Ben Hildred

You can see the guidelines that HIldred created for completing the Olympic Mons here if you want to give it a go yourself.

You can see the ride in more detail on his Strava here and you can see how the event unfolded by watching the Santa Cruz Bicycles Instagram highlights for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Ben shared a couple of photos from the adventure.

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This is actually Ben's longest ride ever, there was a glitch and the ride was uploaded twice from Wahoo!

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"I saw this grit bin at the top of every lap and would recognise it with an understanding nod and freindly grimace. This was moments after completing the 21900m ride surrounded by wonderful people."

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Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,396 articles

69 Comments
  • 168 1
 Don't mind me, I'm just heading out for a little ride. Be back in 53 hours... That's a ridiculous feat, Ben! Nice work.
  • 128 1
 Imagine having to service your lowers mid ride cos your ride was longer than the service interval.
  • 2 0
 Guess he took the Blue Jube Jube Lol
  • 6 0
 I can’t even comprehend what this would be like. It doesn’t seem real at first
  • 15 1
 @Bosco64: imagine servicing your lowers on the actual recommended service intervals LOL
  • 56 0
 yeah but he didn't do it ON Mars, so technically its cheating right? Wink
  • 62 1
 But Mars' gravity is lower, so technically he did a harder challenge.
  • 9 0
 @dougfs: that means it was harder to descend!
Smile
  • 13 1
 @dougfs: low oxygen levels might negate any benefit to low gravity. I'm just thinking out loud here, I could be wrong and Mars would be the perfect place to ride.
  • 21 0
 That saddle is so high he's basically on Mars.
  • 9 0
 Would have the run DH casing on Mars, dem rocks are sharp.
  • 3 0
 @LarryTheLoafer: i dont think our tyres are up to handling the surface of mars, the rover wheels are pretty trick because conventional tyres would get destroyed by the sharp ground, or something, do your own research im not google!
  • 1 0
 @dougfs: there's no oxygen there, so it would be harder on Mars
  • 48 0
 Dude's an alien just training to ride home
  • 31 0
 his 2nd longest ride???????
  • 47 0
 Haha yeah that was an annoying Strava glitch, certainly my biggest ride.
  • 1 0
 @benhildred: I imagine if you "recompute activity achievements" after deleting the other upload it would fix that bit? ‍♂️
  • 25 1
 I don’t understand, it’s like there isn’t a definite limit to how big someone can go.

And yet there’s people who think they need an e-bike for a ride only 1% of this!
  • 10 1
 I think that the outline was for if you should do it with sleeping in between the days/rides. Ben did this ride in one sitting.
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney: what I meant was I can’t comprehend how someone can go so big! Ben is amazing !
  • 9 0
 @henryquinney: also, Henry, please, it would be cool if you did a podcast with Ben, I know he’s your pal. Be nice to have some advice for how to do your first Everest or whatever too, you know? Cool
  • 14 0
 @motdrawde: Sorry - I replied to the wrong comment haha. Already something in the works. Hopefully we'll be getting to see each other this summer, which would just be the absolute best!
  • 1 8
flag betsie (Mar 21, 2024 at 2:10) (Below Threshold)
 mot... you sound like my ex-wife, she didnt understand n+1 either

I need a Dh bike for fastest laps in a couple of hours and uplift days
I need a trail/XC bike for longest human pedalled ride in 2 hours of long days of XC.
I need an Enduro bike for not running out of battery in the mountains on an epic ride
I need jump bike for the pump track and jumps
I need a BMX for the pump track
I need a CX bike for the odd gravel ride and to make it more challenging than taking the XC bike
I need a road bike for long road rides and going to the pub (the CX bike is actually nicer for the pub rides)
I need a spin bike for when its raining and training
AND
I need an e-bike for max laps in 1 hour. Rinse that battery, I cant sit at 400W to 500W on the climb and be fresh for the descent on my Enduro bike, plus there are things you can challenge yourself to climb on an EEB that you just cant do on any Amish.

Justification is easy, unless your like my ex-wife!!!
  • 13 1
 @betsie: wonder why she is ex
  • 1 6
flag betsie (Mar 21, 2024 at 6:32) (Below Threshold)
 @saladdodger: my best fiend and fellow trail builder died in a horrible accident at the bottom of a trail and she couldn't cope with being there for me in my moment of grief, refused to let me go to his funeral or read the eulogy. After counselling years later I am now fine. We were coming back from a race, 2 of us with wins and the other 2nd when we heard the news.
She loved that I raced and did well, but couldnt be there for me in my hours of need.
It was the anniversary of his death yesterday, the piece of art trail build on here a couple of days back was built in his name.
Thanks for your concern and asking.
  • 20 0
 Maybe him and Matt Fairbrother could team to push it even further.
  • 2 0
 Something going on down there in New Zealand..
  • 11 0
 I've met Ben, he's a quiet lad, but god dam does he go all out forest gump when he goes for a ride.
  • 4 0
 nice work. can't wait to try
  • 3 0
 But how many cotton t-shirt changes, That's what we all want to know #NoLogoLifestyle
  • 3 0
 It kinda looks like he's #supported by #Rapha
  • 15 0
 Two cotton tee ride this one, a base layer at night and a couple jackets. Thankfully Rapha do cotton tees too ha.
  • 1 0
 Naomi Klein and Tyler Durden approved.
  • 4 0
 What was it his first time commuting to badminton practice?
  • 3 0
 I can’t stay awake for that long in a sedentary position, how does one ride a bike that whole time?
  • 3 0
 Will there ever be an end or will this existential crisis keep on rolling? Stay tuned wahooligans
  • 2 0
 Reminds me a little of Diana Nyad's 53hr swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64, but without the sharks and jellyfish. The limits of human endurance never cease to amaze me.
  • 3 0
 Jeebus, that's a big effort.
  • 3 1
 Huge effort. Look at the calluses on his hands, some part time gloves on rough DH might have helped.
  • 2 1
 It doesn't look like he followed his own rule about using a different climb and descend loop each day. Maybe I'm missing something.
  • 1 0
 That was his rule for when he first did it with breaks (sleep) between the rides over the three days. This time he did it nonstop in one sitting so stayed with one climb
  • 3 0
 Would love a bike check
  • 4 0
 www.pinkbike.com/news/ben-hildred-bike-check.html There is this one here I did a little while ago. Would love to do it again next time Ben and I cross paths though.
  • 2 0
 Must've been using those new 35mm Mars Bars...
  • 2 0
 That dude needs to be heavily studied by science. What a machine.
  • 1 0
 "I mean I see how they did it, I just don’t get the why."

-Malcolm Reynolds
  • 1 0
 Crazy achievement, amazing.
I'm curious how the AXS drivetrain held up? change batteries each day, anything wear out?
  • 1 0
 Awesome stuff, well, totally phenomenal really. Any relation to road legend Wayne?
  • 1 0
 Ben with that pace and resistance to sleeping, you could have won this years Atlas mountain race!!
  • 2 0
 You could say the hill-dreads it when Ben shows up!
  • 1 0
 I like this because Space!
  • 2 2
 That’s close to 70k feet of climbing. I thought I was doing decent with my little 1200.
  • 1 0
 Is each day in his effort a different climb/descend loop?
  • 1 0
 Looks like it's the same loop.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how many laps it was.
  • 1 0
 @benhildred Solid effort. Try the Moon challenge next!
  • 1 0
 Is there a fitter peddler on the planet?
  • 6 6
 That's a crazy achievement! I wonder.... lsd or shrooms?
  • 1 0
 Legend, well done Ben
  • 1 1
 Very impressive, up coro?

Also, is that a Tallboy with a Super Deluxe?
  • 2 0
 Thank you Smile

Up Coro yep, and it certainly is, best shock going!
  • 1 0
 What a mad bastid.
  • 1 0
 Well done Ben!
  • 1 0
 spelled friendly wrong
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